Health Desk—June 11, 2017: A new survey revealed that only 2 percent children of the capital have the access to playgrounds.
Most of the Dhaka schools do not have any playground left for the students. As a result child obesity has been growing up alarmingly, according to a recent survey of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) and Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC).
Lack of sports or physical activities creates a huge setback in children's physical and mental growth.
As per the data of the Primary Education Department, there are 338 primary schools, 450 NGO-run schools and more than 11,000 kindergartens in the capital. Apart from the government schools, 98 percent of the private schools do not have any playground, it said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) suggested that the children under the age group of 5 to 10 should spend at least one hour in a day on a playground for their proper physical and mental growth. But the urban kids are not getting space for playing neither at schools nor at their neighborhoods.
Dr Mehzabin Haque, associate professor of the Education and Consultant Physiology Department of Dhaka University, said, "We should not forget that extracurricular activities are must for mental development of children. There is no alternative to sports to maintain mental and physical growth of the children."
Eminent Psychiatrist Mohith Kamal said sports is a major component for physiological development of children. "Sports help children to mingle with others, to control emotion as well as to have the mentality to accept defeat. Without outdoor sports, it is not possible," he said.
Associate Professor of National Mental Health Institute and pediatrician Helal Uddin Ahmed said nowadays the schools are not playing enough roles in mental and physical development of the children.